Today’s surprise announcement that former UT basketball coach Bruce Pearl will be vice
president of marketing for wholesale grocer H.T. Hackney, brings to mind Knoxville’s most famous grocery promoter of all time – Cas Walker.
Pearl is a born promoter, but it won’t be easy to match Walker’s flair for the unconventional.
Walker, a grocery store owner and former Knoxville mayor who made national news when Life Magazine published a photo of him preparing to punch a city councilman, would do anything to get shoppers in his stores. He threw coupons from airplanes, tossed live chickens from rooftops and once buried a man alive in the parking lot of a store on Chapman highway.
Walker set the bar high, but I’m confident Pearl is up to the promotional challenge. He should do well as Hackney’s marketing guru. But tossing chickens from Hackney headquarters doesn’t sound like a good idea. What should he do? Host a BBQ cookoff?
What promotions would you suggest for Hackney’s new VP?
Photos: Knoxville News Sentinel files
Cas Walker video: Message to shoppers